I&S BBDO Japan’s 'Nippon no Tane (Seeds of Japan)' project asked locals what sort of businesses and content were appropriate for TV commercial films immediately following the 11 March disaster, then again on 29 March, 4 April, 14 April, and 25 April.
In the first instance, advertisements promoting products with a high degree of necessity (food, daily goods and clothing) were considered appropriate by at least 60 per cent of respondents. .
By one month later (14 April), other types of commercials were also finding that level of approval. After the most recent survey date (25 April), commercials that were considered most inappropriate immediately after the earthquake were also back in favour. Spots for alcoholic beverages, for example, enjoyed approval ratings of 62.4 per cent near the end of April, up from just 36 per cent on 24 March.
The online survey also asked respondents about the favoured tone of commercials at different times after the earthquake. Immediately after the disaster (24 March), respondents sympathised with commercials that had a warm, caring tone. By one month after the disaster, cheerfulness and even comedy were appreciated.
I&S BBDO reported that people were getting ‘slightly fed up' with messages of encouragement by 25 April. This was due to an increase in the number of commercial films with a 'let’s do our best' message for Japanese audiences.